Patients acting as consumers – centralized callcenters to the rescue

Categorized as Operations Tagged

If you think your patients are waiting around patiently to make an appointment with you – trust me.. you’re going to be selling your medical practice soon πŸ™‚ (maybe to me? ).

Increase patient access NOW. For patients acting as consumers – centralized healthcare callcenters to the rescue.

With a short attention span. has published a few articles about the rising changes in patient expectations and demands. They have also discussed how patient access is the key to business viability, reputation and sustainability.

How would you rate your patient access?

How quickly can patients get appointments with you?

Do you really think patients are waiting patiently for weeks to see you for their care?


Patients are moving on to the first available appointment at the next available provider.

Now, think about practice growth.

According to the CMS, an average person spends about $10K per year on healthcare costs.

Even CMS claims Medicaid enrollment will continue to rise for another decade. 

Are you are seeing 15-20 patients per day?

If you are doing so, you are going to be eaten up by the hospitals and larger competitors sooner or later. Want to learn more about KPIs?

You’ve already seen this happening as the numbers of solo practitioners have been dwindling for the past decade.

How are you going to respond to this increase in demand?

That’s where centralized healthcare call centers come into the picture. 

You did not go into healthcare to manage front desk staff – did you?

Training and hiring are significantly expensive.

On top of this, you have to create a talent pool bench to provide uninterrupted service.

As your team grows, you need mid level managers to manage the team.

Call center technology, security and infrastructure are headaches. Necessary headaches to take on.

Are you going to take on these headaches?

You need to hire an experienced, reliable IT team (experienced in call center technologies). Are you going to?

Your front desk and whoever answers your phone are your brand ambassadors.

Patients, pharmacies and everyone else experiences your brand through their experience with your front desk.

How are you going to ensure that the experience is consistent? 

You are going to need a QA (quality assurance) process for this.

To be able to handle QA, you are going to need to hire experienced QA folks.

Do you, yourself, have the experience in managing QA teams?

Your staff spends a majority of each patient call gathering demographics and patient insurance information.

Payers and their plans have become increasingly complex.

You need to be sure that the patient visit will get reimbursed.

It takes about 10 mins on the phone per patient that called in for an appointment.

Based on where you practice, your no-show rates could very well be as high as 35%.

Those 10 mins spent on each incoming appointment request call, could very well be a complete waste.

This means that you are going to have to constantly overbook patients by at least 30%).

Will your front desk be handling appointment reminders, recalling patients that are no shows or have fallen out of care?

It rarely happens. Look at the total costs of ownership (tangible and intangible) before you decide.